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Baseball & Soccer Enjoy Historic Sacramento Openers

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The 2014 United Soccer League championship trophy, awarded to Sacramento Saturday night.
Rodrigo Lopez tees up his first-half goal that opened the scoring in the 3-1 victory.
Rodrigo Lopez tees up his first-half goal that opened the scoring in the 3-1 victory.

It was a week of historic openers for two of Sacramento’s professional sports teams. And both had a lot to celebrate.

For the River Cats, it was the end of one era (being the Oakland A’s Triple A affiliate) and the beginning of another (joining the San Francisco Giants family). For Sacramento Republic FC, it was the team’s home United Soccer League opener, and a chance to relive the glory of the first year in the USL, when the upstart Sacramentans captured the USL title.

Both teams can claim the Sacramento opening weekend was a rousing success. The River Cats, sporting a roster that featured three members of last fall’s San Francisco Giants’ World Series winning squad (Juan Perez, Andrew Susac and Hunter Strickland) and two players with local high school roots (Susac and Jeff Bowker), took three of four from the Salt Lake Bees, two of them via walk-off homers.

Sacramento Republic FC, meanwhile, picked up their championship rings and trophy, and then trounced south rival LA Galaxy II 3-1.

Photos by Steve Martarano. Featured photo: The 2014 United Soccer League championship trophy, awarded to Sac Republic Saturday night.

About the author

Steve Martarano

A resident of Sacramento since graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, Steve spent the 1980s at The Sacramento Union, working as a sports writer, music reviewer and crime reporter, among other assignments. He's spent the last 25+ years working in government public affairs for both state and federal agencies and currently is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bay-Delta office in Sacramento. He has shot just about every local sports team for the Sacramento Press, including local colleges, the Sacramento River Cats and Sacramento Republic FC. He resides in Curtis Park with his wife Sharon.

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